Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario!

featured bird photo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Scoping June

Shorebirds and late Neotropical migrants are wrapping up the spring migration in the first week or so of June. Local breeding birds are busy nest building and rearing future generations. Now is the time to catch up with birds you may have missed during spring migration!

The Iroquois NWR complex is high priority on many birder's itineraries this time of year. Species such as Cerulean and Prothonotary Warblers which are rare to stumble upon during migration can be found breeding within the swamps and wet woods of Iroquois. Black Terns are hawking insects and looking immaculate in their high breeding plumage. Cayuga Overlook is a great spot to observe these terns. On quiet mornings, visitors may hear the call of Least Bitterns in the cattail marshes.

Two other species that breed locally but are rarely seen during migration are Louisiana Waterthrush and Acadian Flycatcher. These two species can be found near the Eternal Flame at Chestnut Ridge SP in Orchard Park, NY. Broad-winged Hawks nest in this forest as well.

The Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

 BOS Membership  

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.

  Mark Your Calendar Now!

2017 NYS Birders Conference / NYSOA Annual Meeting
November 10-12, 2017

The Buffalo Ornithological Society is hard at work planning the 2017 NYS Birders Conference and NYSOA Annual Meeting. The conference will be held at the new Hilton Hotel right at the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park, November 10-12, 2017 (Veteran's Day weekend).

Why so late in the year? Because the birding is fabulous then! Waterfowl! Gulls! With possibilities for phalaropes, jaegers, and rare or lingering songbirds! You just never know!

Mark your calendar now and check back here for details in the months ahead.

More About the Conference 

  NEEDED: Writers for the Prothonotary Month

Writers for The Prothonotary Month are needed. Please contact Mike Morgante (morgm@roadrunner.com) if you're willing to help.

  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Several field trips, meetings, and events have recently been added to our calendar. Take a look and be sure to join us at a meeting or on one of our field trips!

Jul 01, 2017

Field Trip - Tillman Road WMA

Details: (click for more info)

Leader: Seaghan Coleman
Meet at 7:30am in the parking lot at 10343 Tillman Road.
Join Seaghan for a half day walk through the Tillman WMA. We will focus on seeing the locally rare Upland Sandpiper and Grasshopper Sparrow. These species nest in the grassland portion of the preserve. Other species of interest include Bobolink, American Kestrel and Eastern Meadowlark.
We will also take a walk through the wooded portion of the preserve which features wetlands. Bring bug repellent for the mosquitoes!

Jul 08, 2017

Travel Trip - Adirondacks - Boreal Specialties and Bicknell's Thrush

Details: (click for more info)

This trip will focus on the specialty birds of the Adirondacks (Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay) and will include a very early morning trip to the top of Whiteface Mtn for Bicknell's Thrush. We will be hiring Joan Collins of Adirondack Avian Expeditions & Workshops, LLC as our guide. I will set up an organizational meeting once we get close to, or fill, our trip quota of 20 participants. As with the Cape May trip, travel to/from the ADK park will be on an individual basis, as will be making lodging accomodations. This is a bit tricky because of the plan for Bicknell's Thrush. If we get weathered out on Sunday and Monday and need to plan for Tuesday to go up Whiteface, that means booking three nights...Sat-Mon. Even though we are hiring Joan for two days, she has built in a third day to accomodate our trip up Whiteface if needed. This topic will be covered during the organizational meeting so everyone is well-informed. Since we will be hiring Joan for two of the days, the remainder of birding forays will be led by Alec Humann.

This trip will span Saturday, July 8 - Monday July 10; with a possible add on of a Tuesday morning if we get weathered out of our trip up Whiteface Mountain for Bicknell's Thrush .

Day 1 (Saturday)
Arrive to ADK and check in to wherever you made a reservation. Your drive from Bflo to the Long Lake area will take approx 5.5 hours. We will bird as a group this afternoon for a few hours at a tbd location (Sabbatis Circle Road, Newcomb area, Tupper Lake). Group dinner.

Here are Joan's itineraries for the two days we have her (Sunday and Monday; Tuesday if we need a weather day). Please keep in mind that these itineraries are interchangeable depending on weather!

Day Two: (Sunday with Joan) Dawn Tour up Whiteface Mountain to see the elusive Bicknell’s Thrush and other high elevation boreal birds. Joan will meet the group at our hotel and we will plan to drive up the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway at 4:30 a.m. Birding will be at roadside stops with short walks along the road. Typically, we are off the mountain before the road opens to the public. (It opens at 9 a.m.) We will continue birding in mixed forest and lowland boreal habitat areas (including a bog) west of Whiteface Mountain. Birding will be at roadside stops and along several (fairly short) walks on level terrain (paved road, dirt road, and wide dirt trail).

Day Three: (Monday with Joan) Visit a scenic, remote boreal habitat area such as Spring Pond Bog (an Important Bird Area) and the Tupper Lake Marsh; or Blue Mountain Road (Santa Clara); or several central Adirondack areas such as Sabattis Bog in Long Lake (Whitney Wilderness Area – also an Important Bird Area), the Roosevelt Truck Trail and rail bed in Minerva. These locations offer wonderful birding. The birding location(s) chosen will depend on species of interest to the group, physical ability of the participants for walking, and weather conditions. At all three locations, walks are on mostly level dirt roads or trails, except the Roosevelt Truck Trail which has hilly terrain on an old dirt road trail. We can plan another early start – Joan suggests we be at the birding destination by 5 a.m.

The itineraries can be swapped depending on weather conditions. Bicknell’s Thrush becomes extremely quiet in rain or high wind conditions, so we should pick the best weather day for the Dawn Tour up Whiteface. Joan will also have Tuesday, July 11, 2017 available as an option if we need that morning for Whiteface. Joan can also suggest places for food stops.

Joan's guiding fee per day for the tour group is $500. (This is a flat rate that includes guiding fee and mileage.) There is a toll to go up the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway. Last year, the toll was $11 per car and driver, and $8 for each additional person. Occasionally, they raise the rates by one dollar. Joan will know the exact rate for 2017 soon and will collect the toll and send ORDA (Olympic Regional Development Authority – organization that manages the highway) a weekly check since the toll booth is not open when we go up.

This trip will be limited to 20 participants and is limited to BOS members only. I feel this trip will fill up quickly and with 20 participants, guiding services will amount to a mere $50/person. This is extremely reasonable! I will probably bump the guiding fee up to $60/person to allow for a tip for Joan's services. There is also the nominal fee for being able to drive up Whiteface Mtn, about $10/person. We will be staying in the Long Lake area and I will contact interested people with lodging options. Interested members please email me at: alechumann@msn.com so i can add your name to the list.

Jul 09, 2017

Travel Trip - Adirondack Park

Details: (click for more info)

Day 2

Jul 10, 2017

Travel Trip - Adirondack Park

Details: (click for more info)

Day 3

Jul 15, 2017

Field Trip - Knox Farm State Park

Details: (click for more info)

Leader: Matthew Nusstein

Meet at 8am in the parking lot at the visitor center. ***This trip will have a cost of $1/person as Matt will be leading our group during his scheduled work day.

Park naturalist, Matt Nusstein, will be guiding us to the scenic waterfalls located within the park. Typically the ridge where the falls is located is good for a number of different warblers and vireos and occasionally a Barred owl roosting in the Hemlocks.

The walk to the falls passes through a field that always has strong numbers of Bobolinks. We also hope to view Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Bluebird, and Savannah Sparrow in the grassland habitat.

Jul 30, 2017

Field Trip - Canadian Shoreline of Lake Erie - Shorebirds

Details: (click for more info)

Meet at 7am at the corner of Vermont St and Busti in Buffalo.

***Proper identification required to cross the border into Canada! There is an entrance fee for this park.

Join Doug Happ along the NE shore of Lake Erie to seek out migrant shorebirds. Rock Point has treated viewers to regionally rare species like Red Knot, Western Sandpiper and Willet in years past. Orchard Orioles have bred in this park and may still be present during the July trip. We will hopefully cross paths with migrant warblers as well! After Rock Point, we will continue on to the nearby sod farms to search for 'grasspipers' that prefer this different habitat. Piping Plover and Whimbrel have graced this sod farm in the past. Be prepared to walk over rocky, exposed lake bed when at Rock Point as well as a staircase down to the shore. Bring drinks and a lunch as there aren't amenities other than bathrooms within the park.

Leader: Doug Happ (dhapp@msn.com)

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